Joelle Karras

Contact Details

Joelle Karras

Assistant: Kathleen McKerracher

Joelle has been a lawyer at Woodward and Company since 2019, though she initially joined the team as a co-op student in 2016 and as an articled student in 2018. Primarily working in the area of Aboriginal rights and title, her work is driven by principles of compassion, respect, and empowerment for First Nations communities.

Joelle grew up between Lasqueti Island, a small off-grid community of just 400 residents in Coast Salish territory, and Lee Creek, an even smaller community on the North Shore of Shuswap Lake in Secwepemc territory. She went on to travel extensively from Europe to Central and South America.

Before being called to the B.C. Bar in 2019, Joelle was a student researcher with the Indigenous Law Research Unit, working to ascertain and articulate Indigenous legal principles and processes. She also worked as a legal advocate at the Wachiay Friendship Centre in 2017 and as a policy analyst with the Ministry of Agriculture in 2015.

Joelle’s legal career was preceded by a degree in sociology from the University of British Columbia and a degree in law (with a specialization in environmental law and sustainability) from the University of Victoria. Joelle received several awards during the course of her studies, including the Lawson Lundell LLP Prize for demonstrated excellence in the Business Associations Course (2017), the JFK Law Corporation Prize for high academic standing in the Indigenous Lands, Rights, and Governance course (2016), the Rocky Racoon Award from the UVic Environmental Law Centre (2015), and the CBA Financial Corporation Law School Achievement Award (2014).

Membership & Professional Affiliations

  • Member, Law Society of British Columbia (2019)

Practice Areas

  • Aboriginal and Treaty Rights
  • Aboriginal Title
  • Indigenous Legal Orders and Law

Lawson Lundell LLP Prize in Business Associations (2017)

JFK Law Corporation Prise in Indigenous Lands Rights and Governance (2016)

Rocky Raccoon Award from the UVic Environmental Law Centre (2015)

CBA Financial Corporation Law School Achievement Award (2014)